A FOX reality show seems an unlikely stage for a new actor with a
resume already full of television and film roles.
But as one local man will say, it's not easy to break into the
acting business and someone starting out should never turn down an
opportunity to act.
Laguna Beach resident Ed Gillow recently appeared on FOX's reality
show, "Who's Your Daddy?," a show that offers a $100,000 cash prize
to a woman if she can pick her biological father, whom she's never
met, out of a group of eight men.
Though the show, dubbed by FOX as "a reunion show like no other"
has been slammed by adoption organizations and other critics, Gillow
thought it was a heartwarming story that he enjoyed taking part in.
"Personally, I feel good doing it because in my mind it was a good
cause, reuniting a child with her birth parents," Gillow said.
In "Who's Your Daddy?," Gillow played one of eight potential
fathers of the show's star, a woman they called "T.J."
There were a total of eight men to whom T.J. was introduced and
had a chance to talk to, but only one was her real father, Gillow
T.J. had to decide, based on her brief interactions with these
men, which one was her real father, Gillow said.
Before filming the show, Gillow said he was given a small amount
of information about the details; he knew that T.J. was adopted and
had never met her birth parents. The show was filmed in a mansion in
Thousand Oaks, and Gillow said he and the other men on the show were
kept separate from each other and no one knew who the real father
When T.J. first met all of her potential fathers, Gillow said it
was an emotional moment for everyone.
"You would have paid money to see the look on her face when we
walked through that door," Gillow said.
"You couldn't help but be affected by looking at her."
Gillow is an actor who is still new to the business and said that
the show presented a challenge for him to try and convince T.J. that
he might be her real father.
Gillow has no children of his own and said he enjoyed playing the
"If you just stay open to the moment and let it affect you, you
don't really have to act," Gillow said.
Gillow found his way to reality TV by way of the casting circuit,
About four years ago, he left an engineering career and started
working as an extra on TV and in movies. He later took acting lessons
and now has expanded his work to independent films and larger
television roles, Gillow said.
Gillow's wife, Joan Gladstone, said that she is proud of how far
her husband has come in his acting career.
"It gives me and a lot of people we know inspiration that if you
have a dream and you take steps to accomplish it you can make it
happen," Gladstone said.
Though Gillow views his appearance on "Who's Your Daddy?" as a
positive experience, reality television is not the direction he wants
his career to go, he said.
"As actors, it's kind of a joke doing reality shows," Gillow said.
It is common for actors who are just starting out to land roles in
reality television, Gillow said.
"The incentive is the exposure and the chance to push yourself a
bit," Gillow said.
"It's the bane of every actor's existence, but how many of us have
Gladstone said that although she did not think the show gave her
husband a chance to showcase his talents, she said it was a good
opportunity for him.
"I'm happy that he's working, I'm happy that he's being selected
for these roles," Gladstone said.
In the show's conclusion, T.J. eliminated Gillow's group of
"fathers" in the first round and she did pick her real father, Gillow
T.J. was awarded with a $100,000 prize and the opportunity to
finally get to know her real father.
"She just seemed to know," Gillow said.